The Search Begins

“Good luck. Hope you like it,” said the tall, attractive fellow as I exited the elevator with my real estate agent.

He and his equally tall, fit friend in the elevator were smiling at me, and I smiled a “thank you” in return.

As we headed down the hall towards a unit in the trendy, new-ish Mutual Street condo, I’d already prepared myself for the fact the place would be tiny. I wasn’t kidding myself; I was really going for curiosity’s sake.

The moment after my agent turned the key in the lock and pushed the door open, I found out just HOW TINY this place was.

The bathroom was just big enough to turn around in – once.

The bedroom was so small, there was a curtain over the “entrance”, instead of a standard wall with a door. And there was nothing separating the “kitchen” from the “living room”.

The best feature was probably the balcony.

In all, the condo was barely 430 square feet, if that. And it was selling for nearly a quarter of a million dollars.

And thus, that warm Monday night was my official introduction to the world of real estate.

Or, as I like to call it, Condo Hunt 2009.

It’s been about six years of saving … nearly two years of pining, whinging and yowling about wanting my own place … and about four or five months of restlessness and anxiety just to get to the “property hunting” phase, never mind obsessively staring at stretched digital photos on MLS. (Ah, house porn).

Of course, because of low interest rates, I’m now up against a three-alarm-fire of a real estate market … which means four words I dread most in the glossary of real estate vocabulary –

“Multiple offers” and “Bidding war”.

As a single woman, I’m screwed against couples, and other rich singles.

That is, if a property will stay on the market long enough for me to even look at it, never mind make an offer. The units my agent e-mails me –  to see if I’m interested – are usually gone within a few days of appearing on the market.

And from what my real estate agent said to me this evening, it sounds like this scary scenario will likely continue into the fall.

Since starting this week, I’ve only seen four units. That’s actually not bad. But from the sounds of it,  the odds of me finding something this year, this fall, are probably 10-1. Scratch that –  more like 500-1.

Oh, well.

At least I’m still saving money.

PETA’s New Billboard

And speaking of billboards …

THIS is what I’d call an offensive ad.












It also reinforces my continuing practice of eating meat and wearing leather.

No, but seriously. It’s derogatory to women, to issues of body image, and to whales, in my honest opinion.

Here’s the link to Shameless magazine’s blog, who stumbled across this.  

I now leave this open to comments.

Much Ad-do About Nothing

coorsbillboardTo date, there are three things that make me reeeally tired:

(1) Stupid people.

(2) Crazy people.

(3) People making a big deal over something trivial.

And it seems today’s the day for something that falls under (3).

So I read this article in today’s Toronto Star about a billboard for Coors Light beer, pictured above, that’s been making the rounds in B.C. It was spotted a couple of weeks ago by a Newmarket-area woman, originally from Kamloops, while on a camping trip out west. Or, rather, her 16-year-old son saw it first.

She made the points that, (a) the ad’s insulting to a large group of people and (b) the ad had the Olympic logo stamped on the billboard – which “isn’t a great way to bring people into the province” for the 2010 Winter Games. 

She has a right to say this; I think she’s completely valid.

But since reading the story, I’ve read and seen how there’s this outcry over the ads. 


People are up in arms over THIS??

Honestly? I smirked inwardly when I saw a picture of the billboard online. 

I realize I’m about to give this much more attention than necessary. But the threats of boycotting Coors Beer and this apparent hue and cry have been BOGGLING MY MIND.

So as a born-and-bred Torontonian, here are my four reasons as to why you shouldn’t care less about the billboard:

(1) Have you TASTED Coors Light? I have. It’s not good enough to boycott. And if you happen to drink this, then I’m so sorry. Because you’ve no doubt managed to either BURN or SHAVE every last tastebud off of your tongue. 

(2) “Most people” from Toronto aren’t cold. Call me conceited and biased, but I pride myself on TRYING to be nice to people. I’m all about The Golden Rule. Do I sometimes fail? Sure. But I try. And I’ve come across my share of not-so-nice people. Which brings me to …

(3) A good number of “most people in Toronto”, are from SOMEWHERE ELSE. And of that segment of the populace, a good number are from OTHER PLACES IN CANADA. So, really, Oh Mighty Braintrust Behind This Ad. Who EXACTLY do you think you’re poking in the eye with this?

(4) Hello? Does NO ONE remember the Coors Light billboard ad from a couple of years ago which read, “COLDER THAN YOUR GIRLFRIEND’S ROOMMATE”? If anything, THAT’s more offensive … and  succinctly describes how much of a douchey boyfriend the copywriter might have been.

We Torontonians, we’ve been shat on and laughed at for years by other Canadians. Besides talking about the weather, it’s the only other way a lot of them bond. But if anything, it should help us citizens develop a tougher skin.

So why not do what I do …

See it for what it is – an ad to sell beer – and move on?


*Photo taken from The Toronto Star; courtesy of Kathryn Morton.

Still Alive, Kids

Just thought I’d write a post as proof I’m still around and breathing. I figured I should, since someone I know recently asked me why I’m not posting anymore.

No, I have not abandoned my blog in favour of Twitter. I did not join a cult, nor meet a knight on a white horse, elope and join a travelling renaissance fair.

The short answer: Nothing is going on. Honestly.

Around this time of year, I’d be in another country. But since I went on my trip four months earlier than scheduled, it’s been a very quiet, tame, DULL summer.

With the exception of the last couple of weekends, when I actually had a couple fun reasons to leave my house …

And this past weekend, when a couple of friends and I drove south to Windsor to attend a friend’s wedding. THAT was fun.

But … yeah. Back to boredom for me.

Work’s okay, too … for now. I HAD been looking forward to my new challenge. But last Wednesday, my new boss-to-be approached me to tell me I’d be re-assigned again – to ANOTHER unit. Doing the same thing I’m doing now.

She says it’s going to be temporary – about three to four months. But the last time I heard that, I ended up working for about five years for the same unit. So I’m not holding my breath.

And, naturally, I’m NOT impressed. And if anyone asks me, I’m really tempted to say so. I’m so tired of this “pretending to like my job” crap.

But I have to suck it up. I’m gainfully employed. And from what I gather, I’m starting in September. I just have to enrich my life – what little I’ll get – OUTSIDE work so it doesn’t completely drive me insane.

Other than a birthday party this weekend, a wedding reception in two weeks, and maybe a party at month’s end, that’s all I have to say about this month, folks. Who knows? Maybe August has some pleasant surprises in store.